The Ohio State football team is looking to extend the nation’s longest winning streak to 20 games, but the Buckeyes (7-0, 3-0) aren’t expecting that win to come easily against division rival Penn State (4-2, 1-1) Saturday.
“This is going to be a street fight for us,” OSU coach Urban Meyer told the media after practice Wednesday. “A team that has momentum, a team that had a bye week, a (team) that’s rested and well-coached. They’re legitimate — this is Penn State.”
While the Buckeyes had to make a second-half comeback to secure a 34-24 win against Iowa in Columbus last Saturday, Penn State had a week off after a 43-40, quadruple overtime victory against Michigan Oct. 12.
OSU defeated the Nittany Lions 35-23 at Beaver Stadium last season, but junior linebacker Ryan Shazier said the Buckeyes are “always going to get the best” out of their Leaders Division adversary.
“They always going to give us their best shot and we going to give them our best shot, and it’s just always a fight out there,” Shazier said.
Junior quarterback Braxton Miller said the Buckeyes make every game a big game, and playing Penn State in a nationally televised 8 p.m. game at Ohio Stadium should be no different.
“Everyone wants to take down the guys that (are) undefeated,” Miller said. “It’s going to be electrifying, so it’s going to be fun.”
OSU is ranked No. 4 in the initial BCS standings, which were released Sunday.
Shazier said Wednesday that the Buckeyes are not focused on their win streak or getting to a national championship, but on playing Penn State.
“At the end of the day, the next play and the next game is all that matters,” Shazier said. “We really don’t worry about all that stuff because we just, we just trying to win and we know if we take care of our job, everything else will take care of itself.”
Senior wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown, however, said the Buckeyes need to start winning games more convincingly in order to move up the BCS standings.
“It’s got to be more than just beating teams, we got to start doing it like we should,” Brown said.
After winning by at least 18 points in each of their four non-conference games, the Buckeyes have won by 10 points or less in the last three games against Big Ten opponents.
Alabama, Florida State and Oregon, all of whom are also undefeated this season, are the three teams ranked ahead of OSU in the BCS standings.